Unsettled Christianity

Gloria Dei homo vivens – St Irenaeus
May 24th, 2017 by Joel Watts

Aldersgate as Invitation

In the evening I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther’s Preface to the Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation, and an assurance was given me that he had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death. – John Wesley, forever an Anglican priest, 24 May 1738.

John Wesley was a priest, had even been on a mission — had been a pastor – a writer – and so on… but never had faith that God had actually saved him.

I view Aldersgate in several ways, always one of assurance — but as God’s invitation to accept His faith in John. We should each have that moment, when God who has already saved us through Christ opens our eyes that we might see our vain struggles. When we do, then we are ready to experience God — His presence, His signs and wonders, His authority — in all the fullness thereof.

Joel Watts
Watts holds a MA in Theological Studies from United Theological Seminary. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians, as well as seeking an MA in Clinical Mental Health at Adams State University. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).


2 Responses to “Aldersgate as Invitation”
  1. However, even if one does not have the experience, one’s salvation should not be doubted. Our salvation is not based on our feelings.

    I’ll add that, even though I’m not a Lutheran, it was a Lutheran pastor properly dividing Law and Gospel that cleared matters in my mind many years ago. Sound doctrine has a habit of doing that.

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